Spain PM seeks final lockdown extension: Live coronavirus updates | Coronavirus pandemic News

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  • Latin America’s death toll has topped 50,000 and cases have neared one million, with countries such as Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru struggling to stem the tide, according to a Reuters tally.

  • Brazil has registered a record 33,274 new cases of the coronavirus, its health ministry said, raising the total to 498,440 in a country with one of the world’s worst outbreaks. The country’s death toll has increased to 28,834, with 956 new deaths in the last 24 hours, the ministry added. 
  • Italy has added 111 new victims to the country’s official death toll from the new coronavirus and 416 new infections as it prepares to relax travel restrictions next week. The increases bring the official death toll to 33,340.

  • A third member of a scientific advisory body to the British government has warned that it is too soon to lift the COVID-19 lockdown because the test and trace system is not yet fully operational.

  • More than 6.06 million cases of coronavirus have been confirmed around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 369,000 people have died, including more than 103,000 in the United States, while at least 2.56 million have recovered globally.

Here are the latest updates:

Sunday, May 31

16:05 GMT – Sri Lanka to reopen some tourism in August with restrictions 

Sri Lanka plans to reopen its tourism sector on August 1 by allowing only small groups of visitors to begin with, a tourism official said.

Kimali Fernando, chairperson of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, a government body, denied a report in the local Sunday Times that said the sector would re-open in mid-June.

Sri Lanka attracted around 2 million tourists last year [Getty Images]

A limited number of small groups from around the world would be allowed to visit from August and stay in approved five-star hotels that have put strict safety measures in place, Fernando told Reuters.

Sri Lanka reported another 20 cases of the virus on Saturday, taking the total number of cases so far to 1,613, including 10 deaths.

The country attracted around 2 million tourists last year and the sector contributes around 11% to the nation’s gross domestic product.

16:50 GMT – French COVID-19 cases show further decline

France’s coronavirus cases are continuing to decline, health officials said, with 14,322 patients currently in hospital, down from 14,380 a day earlier.

The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care fell to 1,319 from 1,361, the health directorate said in a statement.

The hospital death toll from the virus rose by 31 to 18,475 – the 11th consecutive daily increase below 100.

Numbers for nursing home deaths will next be updated on Tuesday, the directorate said.

16:03 GMT –  Italy records 75 new coronavirus deaths, 355 new cases

Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy climbed by 75, against 111 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, while the daily tally of new cases fell to 355 from 416.

The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on February 21 now stands at 33,415 the agency said, the third highest in the world after those of the United States and Britain.

The number of confirmed cases amounts to 233,019, the sixth highest global tally behind those of the United States, Russia, Spain, Britain and Brazil.

People registered as currently carrying the illness fell to 42,075 from 43,691 the day before.

There were 435 people in intensive care on Sunday, down from 450 on Saturday, maintaining a long-running decline. Of those originally infected, 157,507 were declared recovered against 155,633 a day earlier.

The agency said 2.434 million people had been tested for the virus against 2.405 million on Friday, out of a population of around 60 million.

15:15 GMT – Bangladesh reopens offices, transport

Public and private offices reopened in Bangladesh after the authorities relaxed some of the measures.

“We are gradually returning to normalcy as the lockdown is lifted,” health ministry official Nasima Sultana told a news conference in Dhaka, calling upon everyone to follow the “post-lockdown” guidelines to stay safe.

The return to offices and relaunch of public transport services coincided with Bangladesh reporting a record 40 Covid-19 fatalities on Sunday, raising the cumulative death toll to 650.

15:00 GMT – Abu Dhabi announces one week-ban on traffic

Abu Dhabi, the largest member of the United Arab Emirates federation, announced a one-week ban on traffic to and between its main cities, to be implemented from June 2, the local government media office said.

The restrictions include a ban on entering and exiting the emirate of Abu Dhabi as a whole, it said on Twitter.

The other cities of the oil-rich emirate of Abu Dhabi mentioned by the announcement are Al-Ain and Al-Dhafra. Movement within these cities is allowed as long as a night curfew, already in force, is observed.

14:50 GMT – UK COVID-19 confirmed death toll rises

The United Kingdom’s death toll from people who have tested positive for COVID-19 has risen by 113 to 38,489, the government said 

14:30 GMT – Britain has reached 200,000 capacity testing target

Britain has reached its 200,000 capacity testing target for the coronavirus on Saturday, including the means for 40,000 antibody tests a day, the government said, adding that it had met the goal a day early.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson set the target of reaching 200,000 tests a day by the end of the month, with aides later saying it was an operational target for Britain to have the capacity to do that number of tests.

“Reaching our 200,000 capacity target is an important milestone on our journey to control the spread of the virus, save lives and gradually ease lockdown,” health minister Matt Hancock said in a statement.

14:20 GMT – Most pupils in Slovakia due back in school on Monday

Most school pupils in Slovakia are heading back to school on Monday as the country’s educational institutions reopen, after a lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

A primary school student Mia smiles inside a classroom in an empty school, closed during a one-day strike by local teachers, in Bratislava

Between 50 and 60 percent of children who attend kindergartens are expected to return [Reuters]

Education Minister Branislav Grohling said between 70 and 80 percent of students will be back at primary school on Monday, Slovak news agency TASR reported.

At the same time, between 50 and 60 per cent of children who attend kindergartens are expected to return, Grohling told public broadcaster RTVS.

Regional differences are likely in terms of the numbers expected back in school, Grohling said.

14:18 GMT – Emirates airline lays off trainee pilots, cabin crew

Emirates airline has laid off trainee pilots and cabin crew, according to two company sources, while the Dubai-based carrier said it has had to let go some staff due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have endeavoured to sustain the current family as is, and we reviewed all possible scenarios in order to sustain our business operations, but have come to the conclusion that we unfortunately have to say goodbye to a few of the wonderful people that worked with us,” a spokeswoman told Reuters.

13:50 GMT – Indonesia’s Bali limits who can enter island to curb virus spread

Bali Deputy Governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati said the island is limiting who can enter and leave based on certain criteria.

Indonesia’s transparent COVID-19 face masks

On-duty government officials and people from the private sector who perform services to help curb the coronavirus’ spread are on the list of those who can come to the island, as are individuals with nuclear family members who are dead or gravely ill, and Bali residents returning from work or study abroad.

“Even though the number of infection cases in Bali is low compared to other regions in Indonesia, we continue to see the number of new cases increasing every day,” Sukawati said.

13:48 GMT – Spanish PM to extend lockdown a final time

Spain’s prime minister said the country needed 15 more days of lockdown until June 21 “to finish with the pandemic once and for all”, and he would ask parliament to approve a final two-week extension to the stay home rule.

“We have almost set out what we set out to do,” Pedro Sanchez told a press conference, as he expressed his intense relief that the number of new cases of COVID-19 in Spain had fallen dramatically.

From June 21 a national state of emergency will end and with it the lockdown, allowing citizens to move freely in their regions. From July 1, citizens will be able to move throughout the country.

13:40 GMT – Masks and no ablution: Saudis flock to reopened mosques

Mask-clad worshippers flocked to Saudi mosques that reopened nationwide – except in the holy city of Mecca – over two months after congregational prayers were halted under a lockdown.

Complying with stringent social distancing rules, worshippers kept a minimum of two metres apart.

Saudi security officers stand in front of the Kaaba in an empty Grand Mosque, as a preventive measure against the coronavf Mecca

Saudi mosques reopened nationwide – except in the holy city of Mecca [File: Reuters]

They had been instructed to bring their own prayer mats and to perform the cleansing ritual, or ablution, at home, instead of in mosque grounds.

“Worshippers rushed to the home of God to perform their obligatory duty (prayers) after the reopening of mosques,” the ministry of Islamic affairs said on Twitter.

Hello, this is Shereena Qazi taking over from my colleague Farah Najjar.

12:38 GMT – Spanish PM says Spain hoping for 140bn euros from EU relief fund

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said he hoped Spain would get 140 billion euros  ($155.37bn) from a new European Union recovery fund.

The EU is set to borrow 750 billion euros for the fund, which will offer a mix of grants and loans to countries hardest hit by the pandemic.

12:32 GMT – People more important than economy, pope says

Pope Francis said that people are more important than the economy, as countries decide how quickly to reopen their countries from coronavirus lockdowns.

Francis made his comments, departing from a prepared script, at the first noon address from his window overlooking St Peter’s Square in three months as Italy’s lockdown drew to an end.

“Healing people, not saving [money] to help the economy [is important], healing people, who are more important than the economy,” Francis said.

“We people are temples of the Holy Spirit, the economy is not,” he said.

Pope Francis leads the Regina Coeli prayer for the first time in three months at the Vatican

Pope Francis leads the Regina Coeli prayer from his window for the first time in three months in the newly reopened St Peter’s Square [Remo Casilli/Reuters]

12:30 GMT – India reports more than 8,000 new cases                  

India reported more than 8,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day, another record high that topped the deadliest week in the country. 

Confirmed infections have risen to 182,143, with 5,164 fatalities, including 193 in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said.

Overall, more than 60 percent of the virus fatalities have been reported from only two states – Maharashtra, the financial hub, and Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The new cases are largely concentrated in six Indian states, including Delhi, home state of the capital, New Delhi.

11:16 GMT – Iran says virus cases surpass 150,000

Iran said its caseload of coronavirus infections passed a grim milestone of 150,000, as the country struggles to contain a recent upward trend.     

The government has largely lifted the restrictions it imposed in order to halt the outbreak. But the health ministry has warned of a potential virus resurgence with new cluster outbreaks in a number of provinces.

Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said 2,516 new cases were confirmed across the country in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 151,466.

10:34 GMT – Malta to reopen airport on July 1

Malta will reopen its airport to passenger flights on July 1, Prime Minister Robert Abela said, as the Mediterranean island rolls back restrictions introduced in March to halt COVID-19 infections.

Tourism accounts for almost a quarter of Malta’s economy and hoteliers have been pressing the government to reopen the airport or risk mass unemployment.

The southern Mediterranean island has recorded some 600 coronavirus cases and nine deaths, having carried out an intensive testing and contact tracing programme. Non-essential shops and restaurants were allowed to reopen in mid-May, but churches on the Roman Catholic island and schools remain closed. Bars and gyms will reopen next Friday.

“These are exciting time for Malta. We are returning to normality,” Abela said.

09:52 GMT – Paris cafes to get extra terrace space as lockdown eases     

Restaurants, cafes and bars in Paris will be able to put more tables outside when they reopen on Tuesday after two months of lockdown, allowing them to serve more clients even as their inside dining rooms must remain closed.     

“In this crisis, Paris needs to support its restaurants and bars. They are the heart of our city,” Mayor Anne Hidalgo told Sunday’s Le Parisien newspaper.

While other restaurants across France can fully reopen on Tuesday, the high number of COVID-19 cases and higher contagion risks in the densely populated Paris region prompted authorities to allow only limited operations for now.

France Faces The Coronavirus

A man walks past the closed Cafe de Flore [File: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]

09:20 GMT – Indonesia reports 700 new cases, more deaths

Indonesia reported 700 new coronavirus infections, taking the tally in the Southeast Asian nation to 26,473, said health ministry official Achmad Yurianto.

Yurianto reported 40 new deaths from COVID-19, taking the total to 1,613, while 7,308 people have recovered.

09:09 GMT – India’s Modi urges citizens to stay alert to virus as lockdown eases

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned the country to remain vigilant against the spread of coronavirus as the country prepares a phased reopening of activities even as daily cases rise to record highs.

India, with the world’s longest lockdown, is set to largely lift containment measures in June, except in high-risk zones.

“The fight against the coronavirus is intense, we cannot drop our guard,” Modi said in his national radio address, a day after his government extended the lockdown until June 30 in high-risk zones but permitted restaurants, malls and religious buildings to reopen elsewhere from June 8.

“Wearing a mask, gloves and following social distancing rules is essential as everyone will soon start stepping out of their homes,” Modi said.

India Slowly Recovers From Coronavirus Outbreak

Commuters wait for vehicles, as the country relaxed its lockdown restrictions on May 26 in Delhi, India [Yawar Nazir/Getty Images]

08:31 GMT – UK taking ‘right steps’ to ease lockdown, says foreign minister 

British foreign minister Dominic Raab said the “careful” easing of the coronavirus lockdown was now the “right step” to take, shrugging off criticism for moving too quickly to allow people more social contact.

“We are confident that this is the right step to be taking at this moment in time,” Raab told Sky News. “We are taking those steps very carefully, based on the science but also based on our ability now to monitor the virus.”

07:57 GMT – Scotland’s Sturgeon says lockdown easing must be very cautious

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon said she agreed with scientists that any easing of the coronavirus lockdown must be very cautious after some of those advising government said Britain was moving too quickly.

Asked whether she thought that politicians were no longer following scientific advice, Sturgeon told Sky News: “I agree with the opinion that has been expressed over the weekend that we’ve got to be very cautious. This virus hasn’t gone away, there is still a significant risk that it could run out of control again.”

07:37 GMT – Russia says coronavirus infections pass 400,000

Russia reported 9,268 new coronavirus cases, raising the national tally to 405,843.

Officials said 138 people had died of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, pushing its nationwide toll up to 4,693. 

Emergencies Ministry members sanitize a railway station amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in Moscow

Russian emergency staff wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) spray disinfectant while sanitising the Kievsky Railway Station in Moscow [Sofya Sandurskaya/Reuters]

07:35 GMT – China says 2 new cases, asymptomatic case on German charter

China announced two new confirmed coronavirus cases and four new asymptomatic cases, including one person without symptoms of COVID-19 on a chartered flight from Germany.

The two confirmed cases in Shandong province on Saturday compared with four cases the day before, data from the country’s health authority showed.

The National Health Commission (NHC) confirmed three new asymptomatic cases on Saturday.

On Sunday, the Chinese city of Tianjin confirmed one asymptomatic person, a passenger arriving from Frankfurt on a chartered Lufthansa flight, LH342, to Tianjin. This case was discovered between midnight and 6am local time on Sunday, the city’s daily statements show.

07:31 GMT – Singapore reports 518 new cases

Singapore has confirmed 518 more coronavirus infections, the health ministry said, taking its tally to 34,884.

Migrant workers living in dormitories make up the vast majority of the new cases, the ministry said in a statement. 

06:37 GMT – Sri Lanka cricketers to begin training on Monday

A select group of Sri Lanka cricketers, mainly bowlers, will return to training on Monday, amid efforts to restart the game after the coronavirus shutdown, the cricket board said.

Professional cricket has been suspended since March because of the pandemic, with Sri Lanka’s home series against England and South Africa among its casualties.

Thirteen players will check into a hotel for a 12-day residential camp at the Colombo Cricket Club, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said in a statement.

“The players taking part in the camp represent a general squad chosen from across all formats, and primarily consist of bowlers, as they need more time for conditioning before going into active competition,” it said.

06:27 GMT – Rwanda reports its first coronavirus death  

Rwanda’s health ministry reported the East African nation’s first death caused by the coronavirus.

The victim was a 65-year-old driver who opted to return home from a neighbouring country, where he resided, after falling severely ill, the ministry said in a statement.

He passed away from severe respiratory complications while receiving treatment at a specialised COVID-19 treatment facility. 

06:04 GMT – Jerusalem’s Al-Alqsa Mosque reopens after two months     

Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound – the third holiest site in Islam after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia – has reopened after being closed for more than two months because of the coronavirus.

Dozens of worshippers in protective masks were let into the compound before the first prayers, held on a cool and windy night.

Chanting “God is greatest, we will protect Al-Aqsa with our soul and blood”, the group gathered in front of the large wooden doors were welcomed by mosque director Omar al-Kiswani, who thanked them for their patience.

Hello, this is Farah Najjar taking over from my colleague Ted Regencia.

05:20 GMT – Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 286 to 181,482

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany has increased by 286 to 181,482, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases. The reported death toll rose by 11 to 8,500, the data showed.

05:10 GMT – Thailand reports four new coronavirus cases, no new deaths

Thailand has reported four new coronavirus cases and no new deaths, taking the total number of infections to 3,081 with 57 deaths since January, according to the Reuters News Agency.

The new patients had arrived in Thailand from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkey, and Saudi Arabia and have been in state quarantine.

Local infections have slowed and over the last two weeks, about 80 percent of new cases were Thais who had returned from abroad. Thailand will on Monday begin reopening more businesses classified as medium to high risk, including cinemas and gyms.


Thailand has 3,081 infections with 57 deaths since January [Sarayuth Jojaiharn/AP]

05:00 GMT – Russia records 9,000 new coronavirus cases

Russia has recorded nearly 9,000 new cases of the coronavirus, roughly consistent with the increases reported over the past two weeks.

The national coronavirus taskforce said 4,555 Russians have died of COVID-19 and 396,575 infections have been confirmed overall.

If all categories are counted as COVID-19 deaths, the nation’s total toll for April would stand at 2,713, or nearly 60 percent more than the previously announced number.

04:06 GMT – Italy warns of EU ‘collapse’ over coronavirus ‘blacklist’

Italy’s foreign minister has warned that the European Union will “collapse” if governments treat Italians like lepers over the coronavirus and “blacklist” Europe’s one-time virus epicentre during the summer tourism season.

Luigi Di Maio posted a blistering Facebook message on Saturday after Greece excluded Italians – as well as nationals from Spain, the United Kingdom and other countries with high infection rates – from the list of foreign tourists it will welcome this summer.

Di Maio said competition for tourism is one thing, but he insisted that it be healthy and fair in demanding a European response to the reopening of EU borders after virus lockdowns. He warned: “If you act differently and dislocated, the EU spirit will be lost. And Europe will collapse.”

Far-right - Italy

Far-right demonstrators hold an anti-government protest in the Italian capital, Rome, on Saturday, following the economic crisis due to the pandemic [Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse via AP]

03:48 GMT – North Macedonia extends state of emergency

North Macedonia has extended its state of emergency for another two weeks because the coronavirus pandemic shows no sign of slowing down.

President Stevo Pendarovski announced the extension on Saturday following a meeting of the National Security Council.

The country’s health authorities reported five new deaths and 35 infections in the previous 24 hours, days after the government allowed bars, cafes and restaurants to reopen. North Macedonia had reported a total of 2,146 confirmed virus cases as of Saturday, including 131 deaths.

03:03 GMT – Romanian PM fined for violating social distancing rules

Romania’s prime minister has paid fines totalling about $600 for smoking indoors and holding a meeting in a government building where several cabinet ministers and other participants did not follow social distancing rules, The Associated Press news agency reported.

In a photograph published in Romanian media, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban and others can be seen smoking with food and bottles of alcohol on a table. No one in the photo wore a mask or maintained the required spacing.

Orban told the Mediafax news agency that the picture was taken on May 25, his birthday. The foreign minister and economy minister of Romania were among those attending.

Romania has registered 19,133 confirmed coronavirus cases and 1,259 deaths.

02:34 GMT – China reports two new coronavirus cases for May 30

China has recorded two new confirmed cases of coronavirus, down from four on Saturday, Reuters reported on Sunday, quoting data from the country’s health authority.

Both cases were imported in the Chinese province of Shandong, the National Health Commission (NHC) said in a statement on its website. The NHC also confirmed three new asymptomatic cases, compared with four the day before.

With no new deaths reported, the death toll remained at 4,634. The total number of confirmed cases in the mainland as of May 30 stood at 83,001, data form NHC showed.

02:15 GMT – South Korea reports 27 new coronavirus cases

South Korea has reported 27 new cases of the coronavirus, the lowest since a cluster infection linked to a logistics centre near Seoul broke out last week, Yonhap news agency reported, quoting health officials.

The new cases raised South Korea’s total coronavirus caseload to 11,468.

The country reported one additional death, bringing the total death toll at 270. The death rate was 2.35 percent. The total number of people released from quarantine after full recoveries stood at 10,405, up 7 from the previous day, with 793 people currently under treatment.

01:48 GMT – Mexico counts 9,779 coronavirus deaths, 87,512 cases

Mexico has reported 2,885 new cases of coronavirus and 364 more deaths, bringing the total numbers to 87,512 cases and 9,779 deaths, according to data from health authorities.

Mexico - coronavirus

A small group of protesters rally on Saturday against Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and his handling of the coronavirus pandemic [Rebecca Blackwell/AP]

01:18 GMT – Colombia to shut down Bogota neighbourhood

The mayor of Colombia’s capital is planning to shut down one of the city’s largest neighbourhoods as cases there continue to rise.

Mayor Claudia Lopez said starting from June 1, the working-class Kennedy area – home to nearly 1.5 million people – will be under a strict quarantine.

Police and military will enforce the lockdown and no one will be allowed out, except to seek food or medical care or in case of an emergency.

Businesses like manufacturing that had been allowed to operate will be ordered closed. Lopez said testing for the virus will be doubled. The area today has nearly 2,500 more cases and hospitals there are reaching maximum capacity.

00:10 GMT – Greece reopens doors to travellers subject to testing, possible quarantine

Greek officials have said the country would not limit incoming tourists to those from a list of 29 nations, but travellers from countries not on the list will be subject to mandatory testing on arrival and a period of quarantine depending on test results.

The policy will only be applied during the final two weeks of June, although Greek authorities left open the prospect of additional restrictions after that date.

Arrivals from the 29 countries listed will be tested randomly. The list was drawn up based on a document from the EU Aviation Safety Agency.

00:01 GMT – Turkey prepares to reopen, resume domestic flights

Disinfection teams have swept Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, and the resumption of domestic flights has been announced as Turkey prepares to lift many remaining coronavirus restrictions.

Teams scrubbed the floors of the 15th-century bazaar, which has been closed since March 23, before Monday’s return to business. The transport minister said the first air routes between Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Antalya and Trabzon would restart on Monday, with others following gradually.

On Saturday evening, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced 983 new cases of coronavirus during the previous 24 hours, taking Turkey’s total number of cases to 163,103. In a tweet, he said there had been 26 deaths from the virus over the same period, bringing the overall death toll to 4,515.


Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

You can find all the updates from yesterday, May 30, here.

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